Melbourne-based OceanaGold is pursuing plans to mine gold for longer at its mine in Waihi in New Zealand.
OceanaGold acquired the Waihi mine from Newmont Mining Corp in 2015. It’s near the Waihi township in the North Island and consists of the Martha open pit and underground mines. The Correnso underground mine is the current active operation, producing about 100,000 ounces of gold each year.
The company is seeking permits for a development that could last ten years, called the Martha Project.
‘The Martha Project exploration target is the first stage of an anticipated 10-year mine life extension for the operation, that will create increased shareholder value and continue to deliver significant socio-economic benefits to the town of Waihi and the many other stakeholders for many years to come.’ chief executive Mick Wilkes said.
A greenfield exploration programme will also continue to test the WKP prospect, to the north of Waihi.
The open Martha pit in Waihi, in the Hauraki District, stalled in April 1995 after a major slip in the north wall and a further rock fall a year later.
OceanaGold’s Waihi general manager Bernie O’Leary presented the Martha Project proposal to Hauraki District Council on Wednesday, Stuff reports.
If consents are granted, the north wall of the Martha pit will be stabilised to allow access below for mining.
New underground drives would be created beneath the pit and under a residential area of the town, from Rugby Park to the intersection of Mueller and Kenny streets, nearly 200m from the southern edge of the pit, Stuff reports.